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Urine the Money

One athlete's waste is this company's treasure.

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This story appears in the June 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

At first glance, it seems like a glamorous business: testing athletes for drugs. But when you look more closely at The National Center for Drug Free Sport Inc., a Kansas City, Missouri, enterprise that Frank Uryasz created in 1999, you start to realize that there's at least one downside: He handles urine all day.

"We try to keep a very professional environment in our collection area," says Uryasz, 43, "but we're working with young people [mostly in high school and college]; and funny things happen, so you have to keep a level of humor in this business." After all, according to Uryasz, whose company employs 10 and brought in $3.7 million in 2003, "all kinds of things can go wrong. Shy bladders are often a problem, and athletes [sometimes] drop their specimens. We've all lost a few pairs of shoes."

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